Steal this post

This post was written by Friday guest blogger Annie Reid.

Scott McLemee, over at Inside Higher Ed, wonders why people continue to plagiarize, notes the rising study of plagiarism as its own academic concern (pointing us to the new journal Plagiary, and the entertaining and occasionally shocking Famous Plagiarists), and wonders where that might leave the deliberately referential:

At the same time, scholarship on plagiarism should probably consist of something more than making strong cases against perpetrators of intellectual thievery. That has its place, of course. But how do you understand it when artists and writers make plagiarism a deliberate and unambiguous policy? I’m thinking of Kathy Acker’s novels, for example. Or the essayist and movie maker Guy Debord’s proclamation in the 1960s: “Plagiarism is necessary. Progress demands it.” (Which he, in turn, had copied from the avant-garde writer Lautreamont, who had died almost a century earlier.)


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